Lola Pierre Louis
It started in 2003, from one elder to another, from one pastor to another, passing the baton for the building project for the new Bethanie French Church in Boynton Beach, Fla. Each person did their part in what the current building committee chairperson, Lola Pierre Louis, clearly articulates: any “church building project is a spiritual project.” The church has grown exponentially and is the mother church to three or four other congregations. The need to expand and grow the work of the Lord has been limited by the existing facilities, which Bethanie outgrew many years ago.
Like any spiritual project, the new Bethanie Church has seen many spiritual battles and setbacks, yet by the grace of God, the church has overcome. With great determination, they persevered even when the original architect died in a boating accident. When all except one of the original design firms went out of business, the church kept the faith. When the site permit expired and the codes changed, which could make the project impossible to build today, the members took it to the Lord in prayer. Many challenges and issues seemed they could have been made into a mini TV series, yet with God, “all things are possible.” In fact, Bethanie spent more time in prayer than in meetings or working out floor plans.
It is this commitment of the pastor, elders, building committee, members, and design team that took everything to the Lord that led to the groundbreaking ceremony on December 12, 2020, 17 years later.
In 2018, a new pastor, Bienvenu Theodore, together with the building committee, board of elders, ministry leaders, and devoted members of Bethanie, committed to a biblical fundraising plan and saw a large amount of the funds for the project raised in a short period of time. Fundraising support came from Philanthropic Service for Institutions at the North American Division. A new design team was hired, led by SAVANNAPUB, architects, which redesigned and permitted the project. With the help of then executive secretary of Southeastern Conference, Michael Owusu, D.Min. (now interim Conference president), the Conference Building Committee, and contractor Bernard Anamuah-Mensah, Bethanie French members were assisted in making critical design and budget decisions that would make the project a reality.
Today, all the praise and honor goes to the Lord and for the many team members who were used by God to reach this milestone. They have another 12 to 18 months of construction and fundraising to do before the grand opening ceremony. They are stepping out in faith again during the middle of a pandemic to start construction. Therefore, your Bethanie French brothers and sisters in Christ, ask for your prayers and support.
Southeastern | April 2021